Gaines gives approval for barn on 104 to be used for events

Photo by Tom Rivers: This barn on Route 104, just east of Route 98, has the Gaines town's permission to be used to host auctions, dances, weddings and other events.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 September 2018 at 11:53 am

GAINES – The Town of Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals approved the site plan and a special use permit for a barn on Route 104 to be used for a seasonal business in Commercial Historic District.

Ray Burke, owner of Fairhaven Treasures, wants to use the neighboring barn on Route 104, across from the Cobblestone Universalist Church, for retail sales, auctions, weddings and other events.

The Gaines ZBA approved the project on Monday. Burke is a member of the ZBA. He abstained from voting.

Burke acquired the barn at 14386-14398 Ridge Rd. Burke in his application said the barn would be available for the events on a seasonal basis because he uses it in the winter to store cars, boats and campers. He thinks using the site for events would fit in with the other nearby businesses.

“Our town is the center of the county at the crossroads of Route 104 and 98 and because of all the businesses on the Ridge we could become a destination for everyone travelling on these corridors,” he wrote in the application.

Burke has parking available behind the barn and east of the structure to accommodate visitors, without cars needing to back into the roadway, the Orleans County Planning Board said on Aug. 23, when that board approved the project.

The ZBA also set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 for a variance request for a former cobblestone schoolhouse on Ridge Road. Bill and Jacqueline Bixler want to make the former school a one-family residence.

The Gaines ordinance requires one-family homes to be at least 980 square feet. The cobblestone school is only 896 square feet. It is on the west end of the town at 13592 Ridge Rd.

The Bixlers don’t want to change the historic nature of the building by putting on a small addition to increase the size.

Gaines town officials don’t believe the building has ever been used for a residence. The building, which doesn’t have a known construction date, is at least 150 years old.

The public hearing will be at the Albion High School cafeteria.

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